DOH aims to make Filipinos among the healthiest in Asia by 2040

DOH cites lack of healthcare workers as major roadblock to health goals

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 06:41 PM June 13, 2024

DOH aims to make Filipinos among healthiest in Asia by 2040

Facade of the Department of Health office in Manila. INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

SUBIC BAY, ZAMBALES — The health department identifies the lack of healthcare workers (HCWs) among the “major roadblocks” to its goal of making Filipinos among the healthiest in Asia by 2040.

In a media conference on Thursday, Dr. Adriel Pizarra, of the Department of Health (DOH) – Health Policy Development and Planning Bureau, also acknowledged that they are still far from achieving this goal.

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“As far as numbers po, malayo pa talaga pero malayo na rin po tayo. We can see po in the past 10 years how as a health sector nag-improve po yung health outcomes po natin along with the increase ng ating financial investments towards health,” he said.

(As far as numbers go, we still have a long way to go, but we have also come a long way. We can see in the past 10 years how, as a health sector, our health outcomes have improved along with the increase in our financial investments towards health.)

When asked whether the DOH is confident in achieving the 2040 goal, Pizarra said that confidence is not the major issue for the department.

“The main concern of the Department of Health is not to be confident, but to do it. Since we have limited time and the outcomes po natin ay hanggat may Pilipino na namamatay, di pa tapos ang trabaho po natin,” he said.

(The primary focus of the Department of Health is not to be confident, but to take action. Since we have limited time and as long as there are Filipinos dying, our work is not yet done.)

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However, Pizarra stressed that the lack of HCWs is a major roadblock for the DOH in achieving its target.

“So in terms of our numbers, our ratio of nurses, midwives, and doctors is still not meeting the standard,” he said.

“Imagine ang laki ng DOH, ang dami naming programa, pero ‘pag bumaba ka  isang tao lang ‘yan, ‘yung health promotion officer, ‘yung taong nage-encode isa lang yan, so we see this as a major roadblock. Kaya po siya priority i-address. Kasi, we can have all of these plans and even budgets, but you don’t have the people that will be implementing them. May mahirapan po talaga tayo,” he explained.

(Imagine the size of the Department of Health (DOH) and the many programs we have, but when you go to facilities, there’s only one person, the health promotion officer, only one person doing the encoding. So, we see this as a major roadblock. That’s why it’s a priority to address this. Because we can have all of these plans and even a budget, but if we don’t have the people to implement them, we will really struggle.)

He further noted that the insufficiency of HCWs is the most challenging to solve among the DOH’s 8-point action agenda.

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Pizarra further mentioned that the department is taking several measures to retain HCWs in the Philippines, such as the deployment of doctors to rural areas and an ongoing study on how to ensure that the workload of an HCW is commensurate with their compensation.

TAGS: Department of Health, DoH, good health

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